The Riparian House is a well-known contemporary type – a weekend home set in a beautiful landscape. While the architecture of this type has become increasingly predictable, this house takes a different approach and uses the found landscape and tectonics of the terrain to its advantage making architecture in close collaboration with the land.
Nestled in a small hillock on the Western Ghats, the architecture of the house takes advantage of the slope (1:4) of the land carving out the essential spaces of the house in the subterranean space. The architects use the scheme to exaggerate and enhance this experience of being in the earth. The seemingly simple plan is masterfully drawn to bring in light in the spaces closer to the earth while opening the spaces that look towards the river for magnificent panoramas through a light and permeable skin.
As the house gets integrated with the landscape by using native varieties of grass, the green roof of the house ensures a seeming continuity with the surrounding vegetation. The material palette of the house with its limestone walls and bamboo screens reacts to the nature of its surrounding generating places of exposure and places of retreat.
The clever plan enables the users to access light and air in varying quantities through the house. The earth on top of the slab insulates the spaces below in hot summer months. This small house, built with reasonable sensitivity and consideration by the architects exemplifies the great architectural opportunity in designing weekend homes all the while addressing the core concerns of good architecture – context, economy, spatial organisation and the beautiful detail; and therefore, The Riparian House in Karjat by Architecture BRIO is a citation project in The Merit List.